Raleigh, NC — At a Friday, June 5, 2020 sermon at the Islamic Association of Raleigh, NC, Imam Oliver S. Muhammad said that “the root of injustice and white supremacy is the image of a white Jesus, which he said is a subliminal message that causes white supremacists to believe they are better than everyone else.”
In an article originally published on a website called jihadwatch.org, the author Christine Douglass-Williams correctly stated that “Supremacism is the root of Islamic doctrine, and does not appear in Christian doctrine. While the imam Muhammad slams a distorted view of Christianity, the Qur’an slams all infidels (including Christians) as inferiors, and Christian persecution by Muslim is at genocidal proportions.”
“We have to understand the root of the injustices that we see in this world. White supremacy has its roots in what? — in the misrepresentation of Allah, in this picture they have all around the world, on every continent that they say is ‘issa a issa salam.’ It’s not him, but it’s the image of a white person. And the white supremacist thinkers, they say ‘well, that’s my image, so it makes me better than everybody because that’s the most Supreme Being.'” He continued, “Whether it is economic oppression or slavery, whether it is politics, whether it is colonization, wherever this image is projected, you can see that those societies, or the people that come under that influence, are subject. They have been influenced by this imagery of white supremacists. It’s a subliminal message.”
Here is a section of the message he shared:
Raleigh NC Imam Oliver S. Muhammad: The Image of a White Jesus Is a Subliminal Message that Feeds White Supremacy, Injustice All over the World pic.twitter.com/6WbrTJnN4W
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) June 16, 2020
So let’s educate the poorly guided imam.
Jesus is one of the most commonly painted figures in Western Art. An image of a bearded, fair-skinned man with long, wavy, light-brown or blond hair and (often) blue eyes. This is likely who the imam is referencing. Sadly, this is where the imam deviates from his understanding.
The Bible doesn’t provide a lot of physical descriptions of the Son of God and all of the evidence we do have indicates he probably looked very different from how he has often been portrayed.
Most importantly, Christ the Lord transcends skin color and racial divisions. Whether its by the Southern Baptists, Protestant Methodist and Lutheran Churches, the Catholic Church, or the persecuted Church in Southeast Asia; Jesus is the Good News that is meant to be shared to every church and every nation.
The imam’s message of hate, division, and fear-mongering has no place here in the United States or in the world. Many scholars often point to Revelation 1:14-15 as clue of Jesus’ appearance.
“The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters” Revelation 1:14-15 (ESV)
So let’s provide the correct exegetical breakdown and references for these two verses.
The hair refers to infinite and divine wisdom (Daniel 7:9). Jesus’ eyes, like a flame of fire see through facades where he can say to each church, “I know” to infallibly diagnose its condition (Rev. 2:18-19). Christ’s feet are like burnished bronze that can crush any opponents, and his voice like the roar of many waters; “like the sound of many waters, like the sound of the Almighty” (Ezekiel 1:24).
The physical attributes that we do know, as He was both fully God and fully man, points to where He grew up and where He walked during his three-year ministry sharing the Good News. Good News that remains Good to this very day and for decades and possibly centuries to come.
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